McKibben Contemplates What We Can Still Glean from the Writings of Henry David Thoreau

Bill McKibben, the 2017 Buffalo Humanities Festival Spotlight Speaker, contemplates the significance of Henry David Thoreau’s book, Walden, on the author’s 200th birthday.

“What nature provides is scale and context, ways to figure out who and how big we are and what we want. It provides silence, solitude, darkness: the rarest commodities we know. It provides reality, in place of the endless electronic mirages and illusions that we consider the miracle of our moment.”

Read the rest of McKibben’s article by following this link, What Would Thoreau Think of Climate Change?

 

image: Thoreau’s quote near his cabin site, Walden Pond.

Alex from Ithaca, NYFlickr Uploaded by Ekabhishek

 

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Why “Environments”?

These are difficult times for educational and cultural institutions increasingly impaired by an epidemic of public disinvestment. Moreover, the last few years have seen the global rise of media markets that traffic in fanciful simplifications, fake news, bigotry and denialism, while dismissing evidence-based knowledge and basic human empathy. But this is also why we see a renewed urgency for the Arts and Humanities to reclaim a position of centrality in public discourse; to weigh in on the big issues of our time, from climate change denial to the rise of fundamentalism and authoritarianism around the world. The Public Humanities provide crucial spaces to help us reimagine, transform, and regenerate our world.

This year’s 3-day Festival will feature talks, music, performances, community debates, and other activities on the theme of “Environments,” focusing on issues of environmental justice and economic sustainability, local and regional activism and planning, and the global climate change crisis.

We hope you will join us for what is guaranteed to be a dynamic conversation between authors, scholars, activists, artists, and the Western New York community – pushing forward our visions for the future through this festival of ideas.

Stay tuned for the announcement of all of this year’s participants!

 

 

image: Global Action Day in Copenhagen. December 2009. america.govhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/americagov/4179185792. Transferred from da.wikipedia to Commons by Thomas81 using CommonsHelper. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.